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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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Your favourite Steadicam Sequences

Hello all

I was just wonder among all of you that grace these forums, what your favourite shots involving steadicams were.

Personally for me:

1. Foot chase on Point Break
2. Entry into the club in Goodfellas
3. Background plate for the speeder bikes on Return of the Jedi (mad I know)

I thought it would be fun to learn what sequences some of the more seasons pro's among us hold in high regard, as well as newbies like me!

Oh as a PS, if anyone in the UK has ever seen a program called Sin : With Bruce Morton. Those 6 episodes were done with a female steadicam operator constantly moving around the performer. Cant find a copy of it anywhere. And its annoying :(

Niall
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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There's one particular shot that comes to mind - an aerial to crane to steadicam shot at the beginning of (if I remember right) Birdcage? Great shot, seamless, good stuff. :)

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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niall Chadwick View Post
Hello all

Oh as a PS, if anyone in the UK has ever seen a program called Sin : With Bruce Morton. Those 6 episodes were done with a female steadicam operator constantly moving around the performer. Niall
How's that for a fetish - having a female steadicam operator constantly moving around you?

:-)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Middleton View Post
There's one particular shot that comes to mind - an aerial to crane to steadicam shot at the beginning of (if I remember right) Birdcage? Great shot, seamless, good stuff. :)
Yes, The Birdcage opens up with a very interesting "seamless" shot starting in a heli and ending inside the club. The shot is actually three shots blended together. The first is the helicopter which brings us to the shore. The second is P. Scott Sakamoto operating Steadicam in Miami starting on a crane, down to the street and up to the door. This blends into Rusty Geller on Steadicam on a sound stage. 3 shots, 3 ops, well done.
http://www.steadishots.org/shots_detail.cfm?shotID=43

My favorite sequences from films are ones that best lend themselves to the narrative of the story. Goodfellas is a great example of that where the Steadicam was really used for a narrative purpose, rather than simply a way to follow the action in a smooth manner. The Shining is another great example of that methodology of filmmaking. The moving camera creates such great suspense.
http://www.steadishots.org/shots_pro...n.cfm?prodID=1
http://www.steadishots.org/shots_pro....cfm?prodID=33

The film Russian Ark for example, shot entirely in one single take, is a phenomenal physical and logistical feat. The operator (Tilman Buttner) is receiving an award for his work on the film this month at the SOC awards. It is well deserved. However, the film itself tends to drag in many places simply because, just as there are many times to use the Steadicam, there are just as many times to NOT use it when you're trying to tell a story that keeps the audience's attention. The film did a great job of being the first to prove a single-take film can be done. I'm very curious to see when it is done again what the next team will do to take it up a notch.

One place where you can see a lot of very inventive and exciting uses of the tool is in music videos. These are not bound by the same restrictions that a film or television show are and can therefore explore different avenues of moving the camera. One of my favorites is by a band named Lucas. Their music video for "Lucas With the Lid Off", directed by Michele Gondry (Eternal Sunshine) is incredible. It is a single shot, full of dutch angles, M.C. Escher like sets, no visual effects, video that is just excellent. Patrick de Ranter was the operator.
http://www.steadishots.org/shots_detail.cfm?shotID=163

There are dozens more. I could go on all day.....
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #5
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Afton

That steadishots website is superb. Bookmarked. Will spend lunchtime watching them.

I have had quite a few ideas about shots I would like to try during my "future" career in filmmaking.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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I watched what I thought was going to be a very cool steadicam shot being filmed some years ago for the Clint Eastwood film "A Perfect World" and then the film ran too long and the part of the story this shot was in was edited out.

The steadicam operator was standing in the basket of a crane. The shot started with the crane twenty or thirty feet in the air at the end of a driveway. The shot is of Clint Eastwood arriving in a car from some distance away. As the car nears the crane is slowly coming down so that as the car reaches the driveway the basket of the crane is almost touching the ground.

As Clint Eastwood opened the door of the car and climbed out and walked up the driveway / sidewalk into the house the steadicam operator stepped out of the basket (it had a door that was opened for him) and turned and followed Clint Eastwood up the drive and into the house.

It was going to be one continuous shot that would have made the viewer go "Huh, how did they do that!!!!!"
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Old January 24th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Niall Chadwick View Post
Hello all


3. Background plate for the speeder bikes on Return of the Jedi (mad I know)

Damn that was the first thing I thought of. Alright do the Smartgun props from the movie Aliens count? Not a shot per say but they used those stedicam arms for most of the movie. ;)
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